By Jim Manion | Correspondent
Southeast head coach Scott Pollock could not ask for a worse start Friday night when his Pirates hosted the Field Falcons. The Pirates fumbled away the opening kickoff and found themselves down by 14 points with 6:48 still showing on the first-quarter clock.
From that point on it was all Southeast, as the Pirates tallied 33 unanswered points and came away with a strong 33-14 victory over a tough Falcons team in a Portage Trail Conference cross-division matchup.
Field kicker Tyler Feciuch booted the opening kickoff to about the 20-yard line, and the ball bounced away from the Pirates' Quinn Porter. Sophomore Luke Kruse pounced on the loose pigskin and Field gained possession on the Southeast 8.
Five seconds later, Cory Simpson made a nice cut-back run and followed his offensive line into the end zone. Feciuch kicked the extra point to put the Falcons up 7-0.
Southeast was forced to punt on its first possession and, following a 14-yard Preston Semlar to Mack Colman pass, Simpson went in for his second score from the 14-yard line for a 14-0 advantage.
Both coaches talked about the first quarter afterward.
"Have you ever seen a start to a game like that? I am just so proud of the way our guys hung in there and came back," Southeast head coach Scott Pollock said.
"Field is a good, tough team," Pollock said.
Falcons head coach Matt Furino talked about the way Southeast physically handled his team.
"We practiced that kickoff all week, and executed it perfectly and scored again right away. But from that point on they just really put it to us," said Furino. "Take nothing away from Southeast, they came out tonight after a tough loss last week and hats off to them. They played like champions."
The Pirates (1-1) halted a Field drive late in the quarter, when Simpson caught a Semlar pass at the Southeast 40 but then fumbled, with Brandon Woodford recovering. The Pirates then proceeded to march 56 yards for their first score of the night.
Running backs Nick Sigworth and Porter then powered their way into the end zone, with Sigworth getting the final call from the 13. The drive covered 10 running plays by the pair, and was aided by a 15-yard facemask penalty against Field.
Southeast's Adam Niepsuj made a tackle for loss on Simpson, then Brett Bailey made a big stop on fourth down with four minutes left in the half to give the Pirates possession at the 32-yard line.
Another facemask penalty on the Falcons (0-2) and a quarterback draw by Jordan Krych moved the ball to the Field 40 with 1:32 left in the half.
A 20-yard pass to Porter and three consecutive runs inside the 10 by Porter gave the Pirates a score with 22 seconds remaining in the half. Another Canfield extra point locked the score at 14-14 heading into halftime.
Krych had a big game for the Pirates, completing 6-of-8 passes for 120 yards along with 20 yards rushing. However, probably the two biggest defensive plays of the night came when Krych picked off a pair of Semlar passes. He intercepted his first pass on the first Falcons possession of the second half.
Following an exchange of punts the Pirates gained possession at their 44. Krych hit Kade Norquest on a slant across the middle for a 42-yard completion. Norquest's run after the catch was aided by a bruising cutback block by Lucas Bloom at about the 30. Norquest was taken down at the 14, then Porter scored three plays later from the 5 for a 21-14 Southeast lead.
Three plays later, Semlar hit Caleb Wohlwend for seven yards but the Field receiver fumbled following the completion and Porter picked up the ball at the 40-yard line from his linebacker position. Porter outraced the field for a 27-14 Southeast advantage.
The final and only score of the fourth quarter came when Southeast was running down the clock but stalled at the Falcons 32-yard line with about three minutes remaining in the contest. Facing a fourth-and-six and probable loss of possession, Pollock elected to have Krych put the ball up and Kraig Blankenship hauled in the pass for a 32-yard touchdown and 33-14 final.
Sigworth led the Pirates rushing attack with 75 yards in 14 carries, while Porter had 72 yards in 17 tries.